FCRB honors 2015 Child Welfare Awardees: Two of five with Federation member agencies

At a special ceremony on November 5, 2015, State Court Administrator Milton L. Mack, Jr., presented award statues as Michigan Foster Care Review Board Program Manager Jim Novell read a summary of outstanding attributes of each awardee listed below. The award ceremony was part of the Foster Care Review Board’s Annual Training Conference in Lansing. Congratulations to all!

Foster Care Worker of the Year: Diane Tryan, Catholic Social Services of the Upper Peninsula, Escanaba, was nominated for her 12 years of outstanding work as a foster care and adoption caseworker, as well as her recent work as a foster care and adoption supervisor. She possesses a tireless work ethic with a positive energy that inspires others around her. She has an impeccable reputation among the professionals and clients she interacts with and is deemed invaluable by her agency, the children and families she has served, and the new caseworkers she has trained. She remains instrumental in addressing critical needs within her community, both as a victim’s advocacy counselor for the Diocese of Marquette and through her involvement with the Suicide Prevention Task Force in Delta County.

Gateway Community Services merges with Child & Family Charities

Child and Family Charities announced October 1, 2014, that Child and Family Charities and Gateway Community Services in Lansing have merged. Under the merger agreement, Gateway will become a division of Child and Family Charities. Gateway was established in 1970 and provides street outreach, counseling, shelter, independent living skills instruction, crisis intervention, and advocacy services to runaway and homeless youth and their families throughout Ingham, Eaton and Clinton counties. Core programs are housed at the Kevin J. Moody Youth Home located in southwest Lansing. Gateway joins an array of divisions and services at Child and Family Charities, including foster care, adoption, independent living, child abuse prevention, parenting education, early childhood education, juvenile diversion, truancy, mental health, substance abuse, and a shelter for teen parents.

“We reached out to Child and Family Charities because of their long and successful history serving vulnerable populations in our community and the synergies this merger facilitates,” said Gateway Board President Amber Beard. “Our staff, board, and funding sources are very supportive of this development.” Beard will serve on the Child and Family Charities Board of Directors.

Youth Behind Bars: Report Exposes High Cost of Kids in Michigan's Adult Criminal Justice System

The Michigan Council on Crime and Delinquency (MCCD) has been working for over a year on a crucial report: Youth Behind Bars: Exploring the Impact of Prosecuting and Incarcerating Kids in Michigan's Criminal Justice System. The report states that from 2003 through 2013, more than 20,000 Michigan youth were placed on adult probation, detained in jail, or imprisoned for an offense committed when they were younger than 18 years old. Michigan is one of ten states that automatically prosecute 17-year-olds as adults, accounting for 95 percent of youth in the adult system. The majority of these charges were for non-violent offenses that did not include a weapon.

Take some time to read the report and find out what is happening to kids in our adult system. The report is posted below.. Click here to view all of the report materials prepared by MCCD.

News release issued: Federation expands scope through member interest networks

Key players in the Michigan Legislature and state departments of DHS and DCH each were sent a special news release this week, announcing the Federation’s launch of three new MINs to address the areas of Family Preservation, Behavioral Health, and Performance/Quality Management. The release speaks to the extensive expertise within member agencies that makes the Federation “the go-to resource for legislators and state and federal policy makers for advice and guidance as they are challenged with addressing the needs of children and families and regulating and monitoring the organizations that care for them.”

Welcome to Ruth Ellis Center and Executive Director Jerry Peterson!

The Federation Board of Directors has voted to approve the Full Member Application of Ruth Ellis Center, which is located in Highland Park and serves Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties.

The agency operates three programs: Ruth’s House, a residential housing program for youth ages 12-17 who are in the foster care or juvenile justice systems; Second Stories Drop-In Center, which provides basic services and safe space for youth and young adults ages 14 to 24; and Second Stories Outpatient Mental Health Services. To learn more about the agency, visit http://www.ruthelliscenter.org/.

Mental Health and Wellness Commission report released this week

In 2013, Governor Rick Snyder issued an Executive Order to assemble a Mental Health and Wellness Commission and charged it with making recommendations for improving the lives of individuals and families living with mental illness, developmental disabilities, and substance use disorders in our state. The charge of the Commission was “to address any gaps in the delivery of mental health services and propose new service models to strengthen the entire delivery spectrum of mental health services throughout the state of Michigan.” You will recall that Federation membership had the opportunity to participate in a needs assessment developed by the Federation last summer titled “Statewide Mental Health Services Assessment.” The results of the survey were shared with Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley and the Commission. The bipartisan, bicameral Mental Health and Wellness Commission released their final report of recommendations on Tuesday before a joint Health Policy Committee hearing, and quickly got a promise of fast legislative action on some of the 60 proposals. There is a large focus in the report on recommendations for children, which is a testament that the Federation membership needs were well heard by the Lieutenant Governor. The “Addressing the Needs of Children” section on pages 11-12 features direct recommendations of Federation membership. You will also find the “Residential Treatment” and “Juvenile Justice” recommendations relevant to the work of the membership.

Education and Training Voucher (ETV)

The ETV Program is well into the new fiscal year and fall semester is underway! With the Fall 2013 semester ending, have your college youth applied for ETV? They still have time!

Students may be eligible for ETV funds if they were in foster care, due to abuse or neglect on or after their 14th birthday, or were adopted from foster care on or after their 16th birthday, juvenile justice youth who were placed in an eligible foster care placement under DHS for care and supervision, have a high school diploma, and attends an accredited college or vocational program. Students must also receive their first ETV prior to their 21st birthday and may be eligible up to their 23rd birthday provided they received a 2.0 GPA and do not drop more than once class per semester.
Current award amounts are $2000 for full time students and $1000 for part time students.

An application is attached below. Please pass this valuable resource on to any qualified youth!!!

Michigan Federation Board of Directors

Michigan Federation for Children and Families Board of Directors • FY 2017-2018

BOARD PRESIDENT
Debora Matthews    
The Children's Center    

IMMEDIATE PAST PRESIDENT
Brian D. Philson    
Highfields, Inc. 

BOARD SECRETARY
Maria Lessnau    
Guiding Harbor   

Gary Anderson    
Michigan State University School of Social Work

Angela Aufdemberge    
Vista Maria

Sharon Berkobien    
Holy Cross Children's Services

Elizabeth Carey    
Starr Commonwealth

David Gehm    
Wellspring Lutheran Services

Lenora Hardy-Foster    
Judson Center

Mark Lambert    
U.P. KIDS

MichFed:

Invitation to join Michigan Home Based Family Services Association

MHBFSA logoFederation Affiliate Member Michigan Home Based Family Services Association invites you to join others who are committed to quality family-centered services throughout Michigan.

New and renewing MHBFSA members benefit from three free trainings annually, discounted pricing for the MHBFSA annual conference (September 27-28, 2012), training hours and free social work CEs at each training, an e-newsletter called Practice, access to the Home Based Standards Guidelines Handbook, listing on and access to the MHBFSA website and more!

Find details about membership and benefits at www.mihomebased.com and in the attachments found below.

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